Work hard—but not so hard that your dad worries about you
Will the next generation pull its weight? That question has kept countless family jewelry store owners awake at night. But Murphy Jewelers’ Patrick Murphy worries about the opposite scenario. Since his daughter, Mallory, joined the business three years ago—after graduating with a degree in business entrepreneurship from Elizabethtown College—his concern has been ensuring she doesn’t work too hard, get “overwhelmed,” or totally flame out. “She has such a good head on her shoulders.… It would be easy to dump everything on her,” says Patrick, who helms the three Murphy Jewelers locations—Pottsville, Hamburg, and Center Valley, Pa.—with his wife, Kim. Mallory agrees that she’s “on the fast train” at Murphy Jewelers (which marks its centennial this year), but knows she’s at the beginning of what will surely be a long career. “I never did consider doing anything else,” says the 24-year-old. “This has always been my No. 1 choice.”
Patrick: Mallory always helped out when she was growing up. We were recently going through old pictures for the 100-year celebration, and we found a photo of her and our son selling lemonade at a stand. She’s had the retail bug from when she was really young. For a while I thought I was going to lose her to soccer—I thought she was going to be a professional player.
Mallory: My first job was cleaning the cases with Windex. I just love it. We have a photo of me from the first grade when you had to dress up as what you want to be when you grow up. I’m wearing a jeweler’s loupe.
Mallory: I’ve learned from both of my parents that if you work hard, success will come. It’s not just going to float into your life. Every dinner growing up we talked about the store. It was always on their mind. It follows you.
Patrick: Mallory brings a young attitude to the store and the technology—from Facebook to email blasts, to making sure our merchandise is leaning toward the younger guys getting engaged. We’re definitely in the bridal market and she gets it. She’s on top of it.
Mallory: My dad is Mr. Social. We actually have this cardboard cutout of him so he can be in all three stores at one time. He goes in at 7 a.m. and is the last to leave. My mom [is] the heartbeat of the operation. She does a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff. She buys all the inventory. I’m mainly the marketing person, and since we recently teamed up with an outside marketing firm, I have more time to focus on in-store marketing, designing the cases, and getting in touch with the sales floor, which I love.
Patrick: Mallory introduces new ideas all the time, things like Alex and Ani. We have our morning meetings and she puts new things on the table and says, “Dad, we really should think about this.” She really sells me.